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October 2003


We invite you to speak your mind on these hot topics and global issues plucked from the pages of National Geographic magazine. For more on the subject go to the online feature page, or read the October issue of NGM.


Saudi Arabia on Edge Forum Thumbnail

Saudi Arabia on Edge

The United States and Saudi Arabia have had friendly relations since 1933 when King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud granted an exclusive oil exploration concession to Standard Oil in California. With the wealth that flowed from the discovery of oil a few years later, Saudis even embraced the American-style mass consumerism of Texas oilmen. But despite the friendship between them, the two nations are very different: One is a democracy. The other follows a system of strict theocratic law that has received more international scrutiny since the terrorist attacks of September 11. (Osama bin Laden and 15 of the hijackers were born in Saudi Arabia.) What do you see for the future of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship? Enter>>

Iraq's Antiquities War Forum Thumbnail

Iraq's Antiquities War

Much of the world was appalled at the looting of Baghdad's Iraq Museum last April. Priceless ancient artifacts from the world's earliest cities were stolen or destroyed. But the looting wasn't limited to Baghdad. At archaeological sites all over the country, impoverished villagers and organized bandits are stealing antiquities for sale to foreign collectors. Such irreplaceable artifacts are invaluable to our knowledge of human history and warrant protection. Yet the chaos and suffering brought on by the war has created urgent needs among the Iraqi people. In a situation where resources are limited, how can those in charge prioritize these competing crises? Which is more important: priceless human history or immediate human need? Enter>>

Maya Water World Forum Thumbnail

Maya Water World

To conduct their research, anthropologists must remove ancient human remains from the sites where they are discovered. This often runs counter to the practices of contemporary descendants, who believe the dead should not be disturbed. How can anthropologists work effectively and, at the same time, show sensitivity to cultural beliefs and traditions? Enter>>

Hip Zips Forum Thumbnail

Hip Zips

Nominate your favorite zip or postal code for coverage in the pages of National Geographic. Our magazine series—ZipUSA—takes a periodic peek at special corners of the country by zip code. We like the concept so much that we're going global and extending our stories to include international postal codes as well. So describe a weird, wacky, wonderful locale of your own choosing—it just might make it into the magazine—and read postings from other folks too. Enter>>

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